You are a person who made a lasting difference in my life. You have taught me many things. Your values and believes have influenced mine. A little of me started as a gift from you.
Most of you have influenced me with your positive, life-affirming actions. A few of you have shown me what NOT to do with my life. Both have helped me to shape my life and for that, I thank you.
You came into my life at various points along the way; early childhood, teenager, young husband/father, working professional, writer, retiree. You may have been my schoolteacher, pastor, family elder, neighbor, community volunteer or just a chance, onetime encounter. I learned how to watch and listen for your moments of life instruction.
You are one of at least two hundred people on my list from my childhood until the present. Your face projects onto my memories about you. Your voice and actions are clear to me. Every day of my life several you and several others on my list come alive in my mind. You may already know how you have impacted my life. If I haven’t told you, trust me, it really did happen. There is no way to adequately thank you.
This message won’t reach all those that I want to thank. I lost track of many of them, and others have left this life. I wish I had thanked them much sooner.
Suggestion: Consider jotting down the names at least fifty people and what they have contributed to your life. Thank those you may still have time to thank.
There is no such thing as a “self-made man.” We have all been offered help along on life’s highway. Those who have responded to that help have lived far less troubled lives.